Friday, February 5, 2016

The Blessing and the Curse of Social Media: My Relationship Status with the Internet

I have a love-hate relationship with social media, and my feelings vary about different kind of social media. When I got a Facebook account in 2009, I was only intending to keep in touch with camp friends who didn't go to my school. Now, my relationship with Facebook is much more complicated. I find myself feeling immense relief when I turn off Facebook on my computer and phone every Friday afternoon, and I find myself feeling left out every time I see a picture of a party I wasn't invited to. I can hear my mom in the back of my head, going "I told you so." But, as usual, the truth resists simplicity and I love being able to keep in touch with all of the clergy that I've worked with over the years. I don't get to see them on a regular basis anymore. I like being able to have a group message with the people in my Intro to Christianity class so that we can share textbooks. I like seeing what's going on at home. If I'm being honest with myself, I'm never going to delete my Facebook. My desire to know what's going on and to connect with the Reform Jewish world outside of Brandeis is too strong. But I am thankful for Shabbat.

Twitter, for me, is very different from Facebook This is not because you can only post in bursts of 140 characters, although that is a difference between the two. Twitter, at least at the moment is my fandom heaven. Every Thursday night (When my television shows are not on hiatus) I look forward to going on twitter and live-tweeting with all of my friends from all around the world. We bond over cast pictures and fangirl over our favorite ships. It's a wonderful escape. my life on Twitter is a lot less carefully curated. I think this is why Twitter is much more relaxing for me.

On to Instagram. At the moment, I'm obsessed with planner stickers and the planner community, so i've been scrolling through those Instagram feeds, but in general, I put much more effort into what I post on Instagram. I really only post when I am happy with how I look and am wearing makeup. I generally take about ten pictures before I edit one and put it on Instagram. What I need to remind myself is that everyone else on Instagram goes through the same process that I do when they post on Instagram.

Youtube. I love Youtube. No, it is not only a place for cats on rumbas and Nyan Cat(am I the only one who remembers that?). It is where I have found the Nerdfighter community (watch this video if you're confused), and it is a place of care and open discussion. I can truly say that Nerdfighteria has changed my life for the better, and I have made IRL(In real life) friends because of Vlogbrothers. So many you tubers have become parts of my life. I look forward to their videos each week, and I talk with other fans in the comments.

All in all, social media isn't going anywhere, but I think we, as humans, need to be mindful of how we look at ourselves through the lens of social media because I know that it can definitely cause body image issues and cause us to be much harder on ourselves than we should be.

This post was inspired by a video by the amazing Rosianna Halse Rojas. You can watch it here 

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